Slough Property Market in 2021
As we entered 2021, the momentum from the past 12 months continued and has shown minimal signs of slowing down. Rightmove saw its busiest start to the year on record, with website views up 30% on the same period in 2020, while estate agents reported an 11% increase in enquiries for properties to purchase.
The rental market presented a similar performance heading into the new year, surpassing property purchase enquiries with a rise of 22%. With a positive outlook for 2021, emerging locations – such as Slough – are set to surge, especially with many towns having extensive regeneration schemes in place.
In Q3 2020, we saw property prices make history with an average of £250k, but Slough is forecasted to outperform the majority of UK regions this year. Averaging £367,415, Slough property prices continue to grow, regardless of the challenges presented by COVID-19 and Brexit.
While it could be argued that the stamp duty holiday has contributed to this impressive growth, JLL’s predictions suggest that the rise of the South-East is here to stay. With an anticipated increase of 17.5% in property prices by 2025, along with an 8% rise in rental prices, Slough’s position as an emerging location continues to be proven.
Slough Supply and Demand
Slough is in the midst of its biggest transformation to date, with a £3billion regeneration scheme set to continue over the next 15 years. When combined with the approaching completion of the Elizabeth Line, the demand for contemporary living is expected to reach new heights.
In 2019, Slough’s population sat comfortably at 149,539, but with tenant priorities drastically changing over the past 12 months, experts expect to see tenants migrate out of London and head for more affordable locations along the London Commuter Belt. Being just an 18 minute commute to the capital (which will become shorter with the completion of the Elizabeth Line), Slough is anticipating a population increase of nearly 10,000 for 2021.
To meet this rising demand, more regeneration schemes are transforming sites across the borough into contemporary housing. However, with the younger generation making up over half of the working population in Slough, modern apartments are quickly becoming an attractive option for tenants.
This makes the likes of New Eton House and The Metalworks ideal for prospective investors – the accessibility of both developments is met by spacious, stylish apartments to meet the demands of young professionals.
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Slough Economic Forecast
This thriving town has the largest business hub in Europe, home to 500 companies with a collective total of 20,000 employees. With around 6,500 businesses across the entirety of Slough, the wider economy delivers a turnover of £9billion.
Slough is challenging London in many areas, especially in terms of gross value added (GVA) per worker. The UK average hovers around £57,000, whereas London reaches highs of £80,000. But with Slough’s extensive business district, it is no surprise that the town surpasses the capital with £82,000 GVA per worker. As well as emphasising the commercial potential of Slough, such statistics highlight the power of a concentrated business hub, demonstrating how emerging locations can exceed UK hotspots for productive output.
With the vast amounts of investment that is being poured into the town over the next decade, alongside the council’s vision to stimulate mass economic growth through additional workspaces, Slough’s economy will thrive. While the regeneration is expected to deliver at least 10,000 jobs, the Crossrail project will connect millions of people to Slough, which is likely to drive more professionals to the town for increased employment opportunities.
Reading has become synonymous with being the capital of Berkshire, but the Slough property price forecast, plus the anticipated growth of Slough’s population and business district could see this economic powerhouse become the leading town of Berkshire within the next 10 years.
Slough Past Performance
While 2020 was a challenge for all industries across the UK, the first half of the year saw businesses diversify and adapt to the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. By the end of the year, many companies had become accustomed to national lockdowns and stringent restrictions, especially the property market.
Q4 of last year was key to the success of the property industry, reporting its fastest rate of rental growth in December since 2016. This 4.1% increase in rental growth was attributed to a significant lag in supply, caused by a combination of affordability and changing attitudes towards renting property.
Although this success had a ripple effect on the majority of regions across the UK, Slough’s property market has demonstrated consistent growth over the past three years, which has obviously impacted the Slough property price forecast. Property in Slough averaged just £318,000 in 2018, with year-on-year increases of around 4% and 5%.
However, much like the rest of the UK, Slough saw an unexpected number of sales in 2020, which averaged £343,209, and with 2021 anticipating a median price of £367,415, Slough is on track to surpass the forecasted average for 2022.
With rental yields in Slough fluctuating between 4% and 5% over the past 12 months, it is no surprise that Buy-to-Let investors made up 15% of the sales agreed in Q4 of last year. As an emerging location, more property investors are considering Slough for Buy-to-Let opportunities, and with the Crossrail project and regeneration schemes in place, the rental market has the potential to expand by 12% over the next four years.
Key Projects Driving Growth in Slough
Regeneration schemes have been driving Slough’s growth for many years, but with major projects continuing to remold the town, there is promise for Slough to become a UK hotspot. The extensive redevelopments span far and wide including retail amenities, commercial spaces, leisure facilities and cultural quarters to meet the priorities of local residents.
The Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) scheme has formed a significant part of the town’s regeneration, including a mixture of redevelopments and new additions. The council’s vision of delivering a well-balanced community, brimming with academic, business and leisure opportunities is at the centre of the project.
SUR has already successfully delivered an extensive, multi-million pound leisure strategy, which saw the rise of premium sporting facilities, from gyms, to ice rinks and swimming pools. Educational facilities also played an integral part in Slough’s regeneration, with primary schools being a particular concern amongst the council. To maximise learning opportunities for students, academic resources have been upgraded and additional classrooms have been constructed.
To meet the increasing housing demand in Slough, a four phase scheme has transformed several disused sites across the borough into housing estates, while future schemes will deliver vibrant apartments, multiple hotels, further housing and communal green spaces.
The regeneration of Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre will complement the SUR project, with the mixed-use development aiming to transform 14 acres of the town centre. The ambitious plan includes the addition of smart workspaces, an expansion on Slough’s current cultural and civic quarter, a luxurious residential neighbourhood and improved pedestrian facilities. While Slough’s regeneration schemes intend to augment the profile of Slough, this particular plan has a strong focus on stimulating long-lasting economic growth.
Arguably a catalyst for Slough’s recent popularity and regeneration schemes, the Crossrail project aims to introduce the Elizabeth Line to Slough in 2022. The 17.8billion rail line will connect the likes of Slough and Reading to major destinations, including the UK’s biggest airport, Canary Wharf and London Paddington.
Over 60,000 people already commute to and from Slough, but with the Elizabeth Line providing direct trains to London every five minutes, this number is expected to continue climbing in the years to come. This increased accessibility will offer a plethora of new opportunities for both London and Slough, especially surrounding employment – demonstrating the tenant demand that would impact the Slough property price forecast.